Creating an Academic fervour

Project: Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad

Architects: A K Joshi and Associates, Noida

The institute is set up with the aim to provide world class education in the field of information technology. The central government has helped set up a residential university sprawling over 100 acres at Devghat Jhalwa in Allahabad, a city regarded as a prominent educational centre.

At present, there is a paradigm shift in approach to providing infrastructure for higher education sector in India, owing to increase in student population; the challenge, therefore, lies in creating optimum spaces within the realm of affordability and at the same time providing state-of- the-art facilities. This requires an adoption of cost-effective measures in terms of material selection, hence facilitating the creation of a low-maintenance design with efficient spaces. Care was taken in the planning the new buildings as well as maintaining a steady architectural expressionof the academic core in IIIT-A in order to blend them with the existing structures, designed in the earlier phases

of construction. The first phase, which started in 2001, consisted of academic buildings that were designed on the basis of Penrose Geometry.

In 2009-10, with an increased student intake and new post graduate courses being introduced, the institute felt the necessity to expand the already existing facilities of the campus. Hence, three major building projects were added to the existing academic core. 30 acres were dedicated for the development of the academic zone comprising two computer labs, an electronic library, lecture theatres and the main administration building. The Institute required a third computer centre (CC-III) to accommodate 3000 work stations and 12 lecture halls with a capacity for 1800 students. The Computer Centre III was placed at the rear of the existing Computer Centre I (CC-I) for its close proximity to the electronic library. A 1200-seat auditorium building was proposed in order to host international conferences, convocations and workshops; it was located near the entrance towards western end of the site, thus providing better accessibility and available surface parking for visitors. Two blocks were added to the already existing administration building, calling for a redesign of the academic core.

The auditorium is a state-of-the-art building equipped with the latest audio-visual and projection facilities, Wi-Fi connectivity, exhibition and dining areas. The main entrance porch faces the administration building of the Institute; there are two other approaches to this building as well. The main hall is surrounded by foyers all around, one of them being dedicated to VIP guests and speakers.

The maximum width of the hall is 30m – all of the 1200 seats have been distributed in 17 rows. Aisle space (ramps) have been provided along the side walls for easy movement. Five entry and exit points in the main hall are placed for safety considerations. The stage has two separate sets of green rooms with toilet facilities and storage. The machine room is at an upper level. The external finish is in Dholpur stone.

The third Computer Centre named C.V. Raman Bhawan, it is a six-storied structure and was designed as a self-sufficient building of computer learning with state-of- the-art computer laboratories and lecture theatres. The Institute felt that the distance between computer labs, lecture theatres and faculty rooms should be minimised. The building was designed as a ‘micro campus’ in itself, a structure that would have class rooms, faculty rooms, research areas and computer labs under one roof.

The front or southern portion of the computer centre is three storied and has 12 classrooms of capacity of 150 students each. There are 24 computer labs fully equipped with 110 computer terminals each with provision of separate cabins for lab-instructors. The central rear portion has areas dedicated for PhD students with adequate storage facilities. The building has in all 64 faculty rooms distributed in various levels, it is centrally air-conditioned with plant rooms situated in the basement. There is a cafeteria in the third floor level in the front portion. The external finish is of Dholpur stone, the same as that of all the buildings of the academic core.

In 2012, the administration expansion scheme was undertaken and two separate four storied blocks on both sides of the existing administration building were proposed. These stilted blocks have parking facility at the ground level and offices, meeting, conference halls on the upper floors, the new building is joined by covered links to the main administration building.

Separate spaces are earmarked for accounts and planning, registrar office and engineering sections, with adequate areas provided for the same in different levels. Both the extension blocks are air-conditioned buildings with adequate natural lighting. As all the educational buildings have an external finish of dholpur stone, the same has been provided here too.

The new girls hostel has a capacity of 300 students. The building is near the already existing second girls hostel. Two internal courtyards were planned and these provide better lighted and ventilated rooms and an ambient atmosphere. The front portion has double seated suits, the central portion has single rooms and the rear block has rooms for senior students of the doctoral programme. The central portion has dining hall and kitchen at the ground, a multi-purpose hall has been provided at the first floor. Care has been taken to provide safety and privacy to each girl student.

New Boys Hostel has a capacity of 750 students. A large central courtyard having two badminton courts provide a healthy interaction space, besides allowing adequate light and ventilation to the rooms. The rear block has two separate dining halls and a large multi-purpose hall. Laundry and other services are in the basement.